Patient information: See related handout on parvovirus B19 , written by the authors of this article. Although most persons with parvovirus B19 infection are asymptomatic or have mild, nonspecific, cold-like symptoms, several clinical conditions have been linked to the virus. The virus is highly infectious and spreads mainly through respiratory droplets. By the time the rash appears, the virus is no longer infectious.
Parvovirus B19 is a common infection in adults and children. There are reports of secondary parvovirus infection in immunocompromised persons, but no reports of symptomatic secondary infection in healthy persons. We describe a healthy year-old woman who presented with fever, rash, and arthralgia. On a subsequent visit she related that a community outbreak of parvovirus developed in her town and church group. We believe this case demonstrates that a symptomatic secondary infection with parvovirus can occur in healthy persons, and that prior positive antibody test does not preclude the development of acute infection.
When the polyarthritis is symmetric and chronic, it can mimic rheumatoid arthritis. Infection during pregnancy can result in hydrops fetalis and congenital anemia. Parvovirus B19 has been only identified in humans.
Fifth disease is a mild rash illness caused by parvovirus B It is more common in children than adults. A person usually gets sick with fifth disease within 14 days after getting infected with parvovirus B